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Environmental Management

For a broad list of metrics we track related to Environmental Managements Systems, visit Environmental Key Metrics.

Sensitivity to environmental concerns is woven into every aspect of NVIDIA’s global enterprise, including our facilities operations, product design and supply chain. A comprehensive Environmental Management System (EMS) enables us to identify and control environmental impacts and constantly improve our performance.

A dedicated EMS team and employees in all offices around the globe execute the system’s policies and practices, which are made tangible through solid goals and metrics. We use the ISO14001 standard to manage our EMS. Our Environmental Policy outlines the scope of our EMS, which is summarized in this section and detailed throughout this report.


Policy Element
Action
 
Energy, Water, Waste
See below for our reduction commitments and initiatives.
 
 
Environmental Procurement
NVIDIA’s corporate purchasing decisions are made based on business requirements such as quality, service levels, technology, financial viability, environmental impact and cost.

  • We allocate 5 percent of supplier selection score to environmental considerations.
  • For major IT equipment and professional services, we do business with recognized industry leaders in environmental performance.
  • For office supplies, we work with a primary vendor that offers environmentally preferable options for office supplies, such as office paper with high recycled content.
  • We are targeting conformance with the LEED Gold standard for forthcoming renovations of certain buildings at our Santa Clara headquarters.
  • Our primary source of electricity purchases, Silicon Valley Power, currently exceeds 30 percent renewables among its energy sources portfolio.  
 
 
Supplier Responsibility
Visit our Supplier Responsibility content for detailed approach to EMS.
 
 
Product Design
Learn about NVIDIA’s approach to energy efficiency in this report’s Product Lifecycle section.
 
 
Stakeholder Engagement
See our Stakeholder Engagement page to learn of the ways we gather feedback from across our ecosystem.
 
 
Compliance
We engage appropriately qualified personnel to complete a legal compliance audit every other year. Evaluation of legal compliance is also completed through regular inspections carried out by external regulatory authorities and periodic building inspections conducted by Environmental Health and Safety. Compliance against customer requirements is evaluated through customer audits.

We require suppliers to submit environmental impact information, and we audit key suppliers to evaluate compliance with the requirements of the European Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHS) and other product related regulatory requirements.
 
 


Energy, Waste and Water
Our campus operations represent an opportunity for us to decrease our greenhouse gas emissions, water usage and waste. We do this through:

  • Increasing energy efficiency in our buildings and data centers
  • Reducing waste tonnage to landfills
  • Encouraging the reduction of water usage
  • Promoting alternative options for transportation

We joined the Environmental Protection Agency’s Climate Leaders Program in 2007 to guide us in setting facilities-wide goals for reducing our environmental impacts. As part of Climate Leaders, we’ve tracked Scope 1, 2 and 3 greenhouse gas emissions in our U.S. operations. The goals we set through the end of 2012 and our progress include:


Focus
Commitment
Target
Progress
 
Energy Conservation
Reduce U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per square foot of non-data-center space.
9 percent by 2012
Achieved in 2011 and continued through 2012 (see GHG tracking chart below).
 
 
Energy Conservation
Reduce U.S. GHG emissions in power usage effectiveness (PUE) for data centers.
9 percent in PUE; PUE of 1.5 by 2012
Not achieved*

1.63 combined PUE for two U.S. datacenters.
 
 
Solid Waste Diversion
Increase the amount of waste diverted from landfill into composting and recycling (at headquarters).
80 percent by 2012
Achieved in 2010.
See Waste Initiatives below.
 
 
Water Reduction
Annual reduction through 2012 normalized by employees.
5 percent
Not achieved*

See Water Initiatives below.
 
 
International Offices
Partner with international offices to track energy, waste and water usage, and identify opportunities for reduction and efficiency.
Ongoing
Partially achieved. Began submitting global greenhouse gas data to the Carbon Disclosure Project in 2012. Still working to track water and waste metrics.
 
 

*Notes: Our data center PUE goals were difficult to achieve due to our constant growth and IT computing needs. As stated in 2012 Initiatives below, we have achieved overall energy reductions in our data centers through thoughtful use of new technologies. Our water goals were set contingent upon us moving to a new campus, a decision that was delayed until 2013 due to the financial crisis. See below for more info regarding Water Initiatives.


Although the Climate Leaders program was disbanded in 2011, we continued to monitor waste, water and energy data to monitor progress toward our goals. In early 2013, we assembled a group of six executives to begin the process of defining our sustainability strategy. As we move through this process, we will re-assess and re-evaluate past goals to determine if they are still relevant to our objectives. We expect to launch new energy, waste and water goals when we better understand the impact of our new campus.

Many of our key suppliers submit their carbon and water usage through the EICC’s Carbon Water Resource System. We do not yet request water, waste and energy data from our suppliers, but we do plan to begin evaluation to determine the impacts to our business. As of 2013, we have not set a date for reporting our product manufacturing carbon footprint externally.

Reporting, External Assurance and Rankings

NVIDIA participates each year in the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), an international nonprofit organization representing $78 trillion in shareholder value that requests data from the world’s largest companies about their response to the issue of climate change. Participants are scored based on their understanding of their business risks and opportunities related to climate change and on their management of greenhouse gas emissions. When we first submitted to CDP in 2009, we received a score of 34 out of 100 possible points; through greater collaboration within our business and deeper understanding of climate change risks, we increased our score in 2012 to 82. Click here to see a PDF response to Investor request.

Since 2009, NVIDIA has appeared in the Newsweek Green Rankings, which grades the U.S.’s top 500 companies (by revenue) by their environmental performance. In 2012, NVIDIA was ranked as the 6th greenest company in the country. We debuted on the list at 314 and have steadily improved our data reporting and transparency around sustainability initiatives.

In 2012, we engaged PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP to provide limited assurance on our 2011 global Scope 1 (natural gas, stationary distillate fuel oil) and Scope 2 (electricity) greenhouse gas data under the American Institute of CPA’s attestation standards (see the 2013 assurance report). In 2013, we have engaged Trucost to receive the AA1000 standard for NVIDIA’s submission to Carbon Disclosure Project, which includes our 2012 greenhouse gas data (see the 2013 assurance report).

Greenhouse Gas Emissions
NVIDIA defines greenhouse gas emissions scope as follows:
  • Scope 1: Natural gas, stationary distillate fuel oil
  • Scope 2: Electricity (includes data center)
  • Scope 3: Business travel (we currently do not include supply chain emissions in Scope 3)

The main sources of our greenhouse gas emissions are electricity to operate our office facilities, laboratories and data centers (Scope 2), and employee business travel (Scope 3). Other process-related emissions related to fugitive emissions from cooling devices and diesel fuel for backup generators not owned by NVIDIA are excluded until we develop reliable monitoring procedures for these emissions sources. Carbon emissions from the small amount of onsite laboratory chemicals used are immaterial.

Our suppliers manufacture our products, so our measured greenhouse gas emissions constitute only a portion of the overall greenhouse gas and other air emissions related to our growing business. See the Supplier Responsibility section of this report for more information about our work with suppliers on carbon footprint issues.

We began monitoring energy emissions in our international offices in 2011 through our global energy-management system. This system helps us target ways to reduce our greenhouse emissions in international offices, starting with our larger facilities (serving more than 100 employees). We now include greenhouse gas emissions from our international offices in our submission to Carbon Disclosure Project.


Global Emissions

* Increase in Scope 2 for 2009 was due to updated data from one location and expansion in two buildings.
** Scope 3 decrease was due to global travel restrictions and implementation of video conferencing solutions.
*** NVIDIA management asserts that its 2012 global greenhouse gas data are presented in conformity with the in this assessment report, provided by Trucost.


2012 Energy Initiatives

In 2013, NVIDIA’s environmental management team will re-evaluate the commitments we made through Climate Leaders, a program created by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to work with companies to develop comprehensive climate-change strategies.

A sampling of energy reductions Initiatives that took place in 2012:

Energy Star Low Carbon IT Participant

In 2012, Energy Star presented to us a certificate of recognition for our IT team’s participation in the Low Carbon IT Campaign Power Management Pledge. The campaign recognizes organizations for reducing the energy consumed by their IT equipment.

Data Center Energy Reductions

In 2012, we collaborated with Silicon Valley Power to upgrade one major Santa Clara data center. We are modifying the cooling system to use advanced electronic motor technology and sophisticated digital controls to respond immediately to cooling demand at the server rack level. A graphical interface displays the cooling requirements in real time and the controls respond by cooling only those areas that require it, based on demand from the server rack.

We are well on our way to saving more than 1,582 megawatt hours of energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 489 metric tonnes of CO2e a year. This is the same as taking 102 cars off the road, or the CO2 emissions from consuming 1,100 barrels of oil.

Also in 2012, we implemented changes to the operating system image used in our compute farm. In total, those changes improved the runtime performance of our compute jobs by 13.5% Those improvements translated to a 2% energy savings for our compute farms as we were able to purchase and operate fewer servers for the same level of workload.

In early 2013, we added a new co-located data center in Europe. The facility has guaranteed a power usage effectiveness ratio of 1.35, with contractual obligations to perform at this level.

India Compute Farm Refresh

Our data center team continues to find ways to decrease the energy use of our R+D development resources, despite explosive demand for computing power. Since 2009 our India data centers have been able to quadruple the number of computing cores and increase by almost 6X the Terabyte storage available to engineers, while decreasing the average watts used per core from 76 in 2009 to 30 watts per core in 2013.

Electric Vehicle Charging

Although electrical vehicle recharging is not an energy reduction initiative for our campus, we are committed to the larger issue of reducing global carbon emissions by encouraging employees to drive more energy-efficient vehicles. We expanded the number of electric vehicle charging stations in Santa Clara from two to 11. We have approximately 44 employees currently using this service, and we estimate that we’re offsetting 18 tonnes of carbon emissions. We ask a nominal fee from employees for using the service, which encourages them to be thoughtful about their energy usage while on campus and decreases wait time to use the service.

Energy Management at HQ Campus

Despite an 11 percent increase in hiring in 2012, we increased our electricity usage by only 1.76 percent.


Energy Management at HQ Campus

Expanding Energy Management to International Offices

We leveraged our energy management software to streamline the utility bill-collection process across our 48 offices. By creating a centralized location for this info, we were able to publicly report our Greenhouse Gas emissions for our global office locations. See Environmental Key Metrics for the results and assurance.

New Campus

We announced the development of a new campus at our Santa Clara, Calif. headquarters. The design will harmonize smart functionality and a shape that connects with and inspires our employees – a triangle, the fundamental building block of computer graphics. Efficient in every way, the design is thoughtful in its use of space, energy, and environment, and cost.

Transportation

Ongoing efforts taken on our Santa Clara campus to encourage the usage of public transportation and ride sharing include:

  • WageWorks: Allows employees to purchase transit passes with pretax dollars
  • Free daily shuttle services from NVIDIA to ACE Train/Caltrans
  • Participation in the Rideshare 511 RideMatch service and Bike Mapper
  • Bicycling resources: Bike lockers/racks are available throughout the campus
  • Bike trail from NVIDIA to local ACE Train station

In 2013, we will evaluate the viability of creating a more holistic transportation management program, which could include carpooling, bicycle support and shuttles.

Waste Initiatives

e-Stewards Enterprise In mid-2009, we implemented a composting program at our Santa Clara campus. Within one quarter, we were able to move our waste diversion rate from 38 percent to 76 percent. We reached our goal of 80% by the end of 2010, and in 2011, reached an 81% diversion rate. In 2012, our rate decreased to 76% due to non-recyclable debris accumulated in construction projects across our Santa Clara, CA campus. Of the total debris generated, however, we were able to divert 63% from reaching a landfill.

Our efforts to reduce e-waste involve recycling old computers. NVIDIA is proud to be a participant in the e-Stewards Enterprise program, which recognizes companies, institutions and governments that commit to the most responsible electronic waste recycling practices. Wherever possible, NVIDIA chooses to use e-Stewards certified recyclers. This ensures that our e-waste is managed safely and that it does not contribute to the global toxic waste crisis. All our U.S. recyclers undergo auditing and performance requirements that are outlined in the e-Stewards program guides and are consistent with NVIDIA’s auditing requirements for well-organized and safe facilities. In 2012, we sent more than 68 tonnes of electronics waste to e-Stewards-certified recyclers.

Water Initiatives

NVIDIA operations are not water intensive. Water is used primarily for food service, landscape and sanitary purposes. Our data centers are responsible for approximately 30 percent of our total water use. We have taken steps to reduce water on campus through initiatives such as drought tolerant landscaping and waterless urinals.

When we set our water reduction goals in 2007, NVIDIA was planning to build a new headquarters campus. With the onset of the economic crisis, those plans were postponed. With the announcement in 2013 of a new campus, we expect to evaluate water saving opportunities during the planning phase.

For all new construction on our Santa Clara, CA campus, we will install dual flush toilets and waterless urinals, and low-flow aerators in sinks. In 2013 we will investigate replacing our current irrigation system with reclaimed water from the city.

From left: In 2012, NVIDIA ranks as the sixth greenest company in the U.S., out of the 500 largest public companies. Also in 2012, NVIDIA was presented with a Business Environmental Award from Silicon Valley non-profit Acterra.
41% of visitors to our report ranked NVIDIA’s environmental performance as Excellent. 53% of visitors felt our performance was Good, but would like to see improvements.
Campus Initiatives
We’ve implemented the following at our Santa Clara headquarters:
  • Posted environmental objectives for employees*
  • Water and energy communications*
  • Recycling*
  • Composting
  • Water reduction program*
  • Energy reducing tools*
  • Greening our annual GPU Technology Conference
  • Purchase local meats/produce for cafeteria
  • Conference room light management*
  • Delamping
  • Low flow water tools
  • Green purchasing policy*
  • Transportation alternatives*
  • Green suggestion box*
  • Freecycle*

* Items with an asterisk are also implemented in selected NVIDIA offices.